CHURCH BRIEFS

The Chronicle Express

Branchport Methodist Church

This is a very sad week for Christians around the world. The season of Lent is ending, but we faithfully await Christ’s resurrection. This week we will be observing Good Friday with a Zoom presentation of a video about the stations of the cross made here in Yates County with the help of many of the Methodist churches. For information on how to join us please contact Pastor Kim Lyons at kjolyons@yahoo.com. 

Our book study on “He Chose the Nails” is over.  We had some great conversations about the book and hope to be able to do it again.

Now that the coldest weather is over we will again be stocking our Blessings Cupboard with canned foods and other supplies.  Check it out if you are in need.

Our latest Administrative Council meeting focused on our upcoming Chicken BBQ (May 28) and the revived Red, White and Blue 5K (July 4).  We are looking forward to being able to greet the community with some fun activities again.  Watch our website and Facebook page for more details.

All are welcome to join us for Sunday worship at 10:45 in person and via Zoom.

St. Mark's Episcopal

Like many other churches in the Finger Lakes, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Penn Yan is slowly transitioning to services with fewer COVID-related restrictions. Two years ago, we were closed completely for in-person services, utilizing YouTube for our Sunday services and Zoom for Compline (a lovely evening prayer service) several days a week.

Here we are, two years later, gradually but steadily returning to what may be the “new normal.”

At St. Mark’s, we have made decisions in accordance with guidance from the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester’s COVID Task Force. For many months, after re-opening the church building, we have required face masks and physical distancing for our services, and have refrained from singing at any time. In the past few months, due to falling COVID numbers, the diocese has changed its guidelines, making the use of masks optional and allowing singing – because of new policies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The COVID Task Force wrote: “Low and Medium levels allow masks to be optional indoors in public places. At this time, all counties in the diocese are at Low or Medium. If any county moves to the High level, all the churches in that county should immediately resume wearing masks in church.”

The Task Force now also allows coffee hours and other forms of social activities, again dependent on COVID numbers. At St. Mark’s we have not yet restarted our beloved coffee hour and we are only singing two hymns at our Sunday service – for now, but we are certainly enjoying those two hymns! We expect several more opportunities for singing on Easter Sunday and thereafter, as well as the chance to both sing and shout, “Alleluia!”

It was necessary to change important parts of our liturgy, and limit opportunities for social interactions for those long months,  but those restrictions have given us a profound sense of gratitude for what is now returning, slowly but surely.

Please join us at St. Mark’s 9 AM service for Easter Sunday, when there might even be a coffee hour afterwards. Or join us any – or every - Sunday at St. Mark’s, where masks are optional and the joy is contagious!

Stations of the Cross

Penn Yan Area Council of Churches

The Penn Yan Area Council of Churches is excited to offer a virtual stations of the Cross. Several of our churches have joined together to share readings and reflection of Jesus' journey to the Cross. The video is available to view as of April 10, 2022 and after via Facebook (@PYACOC) or via our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCo-lf7CwrALfYwo4RjOU1Ng

First Presbyterian 

Easter is about to arrive and our sanctuary will be overflowing with beauty this year. The beauty of flowers placed at the altar will include traditional flowers such as hyacinths, tulips and lilies. FPC’s Presbyterian Women and Worship & Music Committee purchased our Easter plants. Donations were also made to honor or remember loved ones during the Sunday service. The new Easter banners beautify the walls with Easter’s symbols and colors and furnish a vibrant look as we welcome back more members. The beauty of song will continue to ring out from the chancel, provided by Chris Jooyoung Han and Megan Bailey.  FPC is very grateful to Chris and Megan for their steadfast commitment to performing music throughout so many months, even when there were few people (or none) sitting in the pews. Then there is the beauty of the words spoken by Pastor Paul. His sermons, lessons and readings offer us comfort, support and encouragement, as he continues to replenish our souls each week. It couldn’t have been easy preaching in an almost empty sanctuary. Finally, Easter represents the turning of a new page.

As extended family units are permitted to interact once more, beauty is found in human connections allowing us to personally attend to those about whom we care deeply. With certain protections, people are able to return to holding hands and hugging loved ones and friends who were previously isolated in group homes, hospitals, assisted living, nursing homes and other types of facilities. One can never overstate the power of a gentle human touch.

Sadly not all people will be able to find beauty, feel joy or be with loved ones this Easter. For those people who are suffering, disenfranchised or marginalized, anywhere in this world, please take a moment and pray for them. Especially at Easter, those of faith should not forget why Jesus faced death on our behalf. “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” 1 Peter 2:21. May Easter remind us above all, to love, give of ourselves and strive to live in harmony.

As many of the faithful welcome this Easter, there is no more glorious way to celebrate than at the April 17, Easter Sunrise Service, held at 7 a.m., at the pavilion grounds, at Keuka Lake State Park. There we are surrounded by the peaceful beauty of Keuka Lake. If you are not an early riser, FPC’s regular church service is held at 10 a.m. Consider joining us in person for either service, or live streaming the 10 a.m. service from our website (www.pypc.org), and sharing one of FPC’s most beautiful services held each year.

Penn Yan Methodist

Holy Week Events & Worship

Palm Monday Breakfast – 9 a.m. Monday, April 11 – All women are invited to come for a light breakfast, music, inspiration, and friends from around our community. Sponsored by our United Methodist Women’s group.

Maundy Thursday Service – 7 p.m. Thursday, April 14 – The night before Jesus died he gathered with his disciples and shared a special meal. Imagine what it was like to be there with them! Come share a life-changing evening with Jesus.

Good Friday “Stations of the Cross” Service – Online on YouTube at https://bit.ly/PYAOC and on the Penn Yan Council of Churches Facebook page. The Penn Yan Area Council of Churches is creating a virtual “Stations of the Cross” for our whole community to share. People from various churches (including ours) will be telling the story of Jesus as he journeys toward the cross and gives his life for us. You can watch this at any time after it is posted on April 10.

Easter Worship – Sunday, April 17 – Resurrection Day!

  • 6:30 a.m. – Sunrise Service at Indian Pines Park, with neighboring churches enjoying singing & scripture outdoors.
  • 7:30 a.m. – Potluck Breakfast at Wellspring Church, North Main St., Penn Yan
  • 9 a.m. – Sunday Break Contemporary Service (no Sunday School)
  • 11 a.m. – Traditional Service at PYUMC

Dresden Methodist

This past week at Dresden UMC, the congregation reflected on a passage from the Gospel of John. In this week's passage, Mary, the sister of Lazarus, washes Jesus' feet with expensive perfume and her hair. This intimate act of worship is puzzling to Judas, who was watching, and if we are being honest, it is probably puzzling to us too! But what Mary is showing is the heart of discipleship. She is both serving Jesus and having an intimate moment with her Lord. Our lives of discipleship should mirror this. We serve Jesus by serving others, and we refill and refuel by having intimate moments of worship and prayer with our God.  

"Mostly Memories" played in the sanctuary after Dresden Methodist's community supper.

We held a Community dinner on March 30 and had musical entertainment provided by "Mostly Memories." It was a fantastic night of fellowship, good food, and good music!  We even had an unexpected, surprise visitor from next door!

A neighbor's dog, Eli, wanted in to eat with the folks of Dresden Methodist at their community supper.

Now, we are gearing up for Holy Week and have lots going on - we will hold a Good Friday service at 7 p.m. April 15, and there will be an Easter Egg hunt at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 16. There will be much celebration Sunday as we gather at 7 a.m. for our Sunrise service by the lake, have breakfast together at the church immediately following, and gather for a traditional Easter service at 9:30 a.m. We hope you join us!

Are you in need of medical equipment such as wheelchairs, hospital beds, crutches, canes, etc.? Call Dresden UMC and ask for the First Aid Closet. We have equipment available to borrow for free. The First Aid Closet is also looking for donations of medical equipment to continue to meet the community's needs - if you have equipment you'd like to donate or have equipment you need to return, please get in touch with the church.

Bluff Point Methodist

This week's lesson was from John 19: 1-16.  Pastor Sandi looked at Pilate, who had authority at that time.  No one knew who Jesus was - no one heard him.  Pilate could have become a disciple rather than to have followed the path he did.  Pastor Sandi asked us to define what our values are.  We need to have conversations with ourselves. Pastor Sandi asked us to look at our values in work, prayer and conversation. We need to focus and have Jesus use us for what he needs us for. Jesus asks us to work on ourselves.  The people in Pilate’s time had a faith opportunity which many did not take.

 We are open for in-person services, Sunday School, and also Zoom, with fellowship after church. Join us for Easter!  We have many opportunities for prayer and worship at our church and in Penn Yan for Easter Week.  Check our website and bring your family or a friend. If you are interested in joining our Bible Study at 9:30 a.m. Wednesdays, please contact Pastor Sandi at:  pastor@bluffpointumc.com   You don’t have to be a church member to join us and attend.

We are still collecting from our reverse advent calendar for the Living Well.  Thank everyone who has contributed thus far. Easter Blessings to all as we approach the Resurrection Day!

Penn Yan First Baptist

On Easter Sunday, we welcome Rev. Don Lawrence as our guest pastor. In case you missed the exciting news, we have welcomed three new members into our congregation this month. Other good news is that we have exceeded the America for Christ Offering by $252! We have a congregation that has a heart for Mission work.

First Baptist Church of Penn Yan will hold its annual chicken barbecue Saturday, May 21, from 11 a.m. until sold out at the parking lot of Lyons National Bank on Liberty Street in Penn Yan. The meal consists of a half chicken, salt potatoes, roll with butter, and choice of macaroni salad or coleslaw. Cost is $13 or $10 for a half chicken only. Proceeds will help defray the cost of repainting and carpeting of our sanctuary. 

Milo Center Methodist

The Milo Center UMC young disciples loading the supplies our church family collected for Pet Partner Connections.

Pastor Kim reminded us of the gospel reading from John 12 where Mary anoints Jesus' feet with expensive perfume in preparation for His burial. The reaction Judas had was a stark contrast to Mary's plans. Don't be too quick to draw a conclusion or to seek labels for Mary or Judas. They had differing opinions of the events of that week. Mary believed the fragrance of life through God's creation is priceless, regardless of its economic value that Judas considered. How often do we hold differing opinions or add a label to a person based on what we believe to be true? What if we lived like a rose and blossomed, simply to blossom and not to be noticed, to be praised; just to be? Being in our own space without a why, just doing what we are can do without worry of a judging eye. Give your all when and wherever you are able -- like Mary. 

Birthday wishes to Trish Wilkowski, Paul Sprague, Phil Strong, and Christine Hallings. Prayers to Ruth Johncox, Craig and Sue Prior, Chet Briggs, Frank Farrell, Brian Winslow, and the Tillman family. 

There are many Easter celebrations planned. Reach out to Pastor Kim for details @ kjolyons@yahoo.com. Service and Sunday School is via zoom or in person Sundays at 9 a.m. Come one, come all.